“Without FORGETTING, it is quite impossible to live at all” …
Friedrich Nietzsche’s words ring true for me. I used to believe this word FORGETTING meant denying, minimising and pretending. I am sure for some people that’s exactly what it means.
May I offer another perspective for you to consider regarding this cumbersome word FORGETTING?
They say an elephant never FORGETS or forgives. Who knows, maybe it is myth, maybe it is true. Many of us live with huge pink elephants sitting in the midst of our heart’s bedrooms. Bloody huge pink elephants that we cannot deny, FORGET nor forgive.
So what to do with them?
How do we get them to move out without destroying all the beautiful stuff we have painstakingly built for ourselves in our sacred inner world?
I love to dissect words for myself. Especially words like FORGETTING that once for me almost felt like a dirty unwelcome word to my wounded heart. The process of writing allows me to unpack powerful words, one at a time, wash them, then put them in the sunshine to dry so I can look at them with fresh eyes.
To forgive let alone FORGET years of childhood abuse at the hands of two male predators while female care givers looked away seemed like an act of self-betrayal. When I first put down booze and drugs in 1995 becoming a single mum on the pension, forgiving and FORGETTING my own irresponsibility and disappointments in myself also seemed like a betrayal to my sons. I felt I “should” punish myself by remembering and torment myself with shame.
But thankfully those days have now passed.
We can break this challenging word FORGETTING down into two parts. For and Get. The prefix “fore”, which loses its “e” in many English words, simply means …
“To be situated first or placed in front of.” We all know that the word “get” means to receive.
So when we look at the pink elephants in our lives that become obstacles that we consistently focus on, unable to FORGET, a powerful question to ask ourselves is …
Why do we choose to rehash, resent, replay, revenge and remember this tragedy, betrayal, pain or injustice?
What are we getting out of it?
What do we need to GET beFORE we can forgo our diligent focus and allow ourselves to FORGET?
What I needed to GET out of not FORGETTING was to be able to focus on my past betrayals from others and myself for years in order to punish them and me. In an odd way yet it seemed like the only way to find justice.
What I needed by not letting myself FORGET was to GET even, revenge on myself for being such a shit person, and revenge on them. As insane as it plays out the only one who gets punished when we won’t open the door to let the pink elephants that have crushed our heart underfoot wander out of its own accord is us. We have to learn to get out of our own way and step back from the pink elephants to gain perspective and healing breathing space.
There are many days in a row that pass now for me that the pink elephants of my past no longer wander into my heart’s bedroom. To be honest, once I allowed them to be, then needed to no longer GET anything from them, they moved out and moved on in their own time. I needed to see them, become unafraid of them, and then emotionally unchain myself. I was lost for a while having become comfortable with being emotionally squashed under their heart-crushing weight. At first it felt wrong, I felt disloyal to the elephants and even missed the familiarity of pain. Then slowly but surely we were both free.
So if you are having trouble FORGETTING some past wounding you may still be in the midst of healing. It is important to focus, to see and to learn our lessons about pink elephants and give our heart time to process.
We need to learn to give and to GET in life. What comes before both the act of giving and GETTING is either love or fear. When we eventually learn to surrender our fear processing the painful lessons pink elephants bring, love soothes our wounded hearts. If we put love before our fears we will allow ourselves to self-heal instead of self-punish or seek revenge. When love comes before our desire to give and GET, we then master the art of forgiving and FORGETTING.
May you find the willingness to look at what you give and GET in relation to any pink elephants currently hogging space in your heart. Once we are ready to do this we can eventually choose to unlock the door so they can leave us in peace once and for all.
Lotsa love Cynthia xxx
© Copyright 2016 Cynthia J. Morton Emotional Fitness™
This Word Vitamin is an excerpt from my latest bookset “The Four Seasons of the Heart”. If you would like to order your own full set of Daily Word Vitamins one for each day of the year, in book form for yourself or as a gift just click on the SHOP tab and place your order.